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29 March 2019 News
As the better weather (hopefully) starts to roll around and more properties are placed on the market, you may be wondering about what financial implications there may be for you when you are considering buying a house. Paris Steele aim to make the process as stress free as possible and with that in mind, we have broken down the main costs of purchasing a house: 1. Legal Costs You will need a solicitor to carry out the legal work when buying your home. Legal fees are normally dependant on the purchase price of the property but typically range between £795 and £1,195 excluding VAT at 20…
22 March 2019 News
On the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, North Berwick is an attractive and extremely popular harbour town approximately 25 miles East of Edinburgh.  From its picturesque 12th century harbour, the East and West bays are both beautiful sandy beaches with stunning views to the four small islands just off the shore, Bass Rock, Craigleith, Lamb, Fidra and beyond to the Fife coast. This town has so much to offer with a wide range of recreational activities including the award winning Seabird Centre, the Yacht Club, boat trips to the Bass Rock and its famous gannet colony, tennis courts, a sports centre with swimming pool…
15 March 2019 News
Much of the recent Brexit negotiations have centred over the question of a “hard border” in Ireland, and the particular impact that such a boundary may have on the economy and the people of both the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom.  Whilst I cannot provide a solution for that particular question, I was recently asked by a client whether a similar border exists between Scotland and England and more specifically if a Scottish Power of Attorney could be used in England? The position is at present that a Scottish Power of Attorney can be used in England or Wales if the organisation accepts its…
08 March 2019 News
Land and Building Transaction Tax (or “LBTT”) replaced Stamp Duty Land Tax payable on the purchase of a property in Scotland on 1 April, 2015.   The additional dwelling supplement (“ADS”) was introduced by the Scottish Government in 2016 and effectively meant that where someone wished to buy a second home (for example a holiday home or a buy to let property) they would incur an additional charge of 3% payable on top of the existing LBTT rate. That ADS rate has now been increased to 4% following the last budget, and the increase came into effect on 25 January 2019. The Scottish Government have put in…
01 March 2019 News
The Scottish Government are currently reviewing the law that makes provision for the welfare for adults who are incapable to make their own decision due to incapacity.  As part of this, the Scottish Law Commission carried out a Consultation last year to review the question of whether Advanced Directives (more commonly known as “Living Wills”) should be legally binding in Scotland, as is the case in England.   An Advanced Directive is a document (usually witnessed by a GP or a Solicitor) which confirms an individual’s wishes for future healthcare should they become incapable of making their own decisions about treatment.  It can prevent the use…
22 February 2019 News
When someone dies who is domiciled in Scotland, the appointed Executor(s) may have to apply for a Grant of Confirmation from the Sheriff Court before they can fully administer the estate. This largely depends on the particular assets of the deceased. The same is true for the estate of those who die domiciled in England, however a Grant of Probate will be sought. The fees for this application in England have risen dramatically, but will Scotland follow suit?   Estate Value                                                                                                                     Fee (£) Scotland Up to and including £50,000                                                                                         No fee £50,000.01 - £250,000                                                                                                   256 Exceeding £250,000                                                                                                        512 England Up to and including £50,000                                                                                         No fee £50,000…
15 February 2019 News
An executor is someone who is voluntarily appointed, either through a Will or the Sheriff Court, to deal with the estate of someone who has died. The estate is made up of all of their possessions and finances. An executor is given legal authority to ‘administer’ the estate, i.e. settle any debts and liabilities and pass over the remaining estate to the beneficiaries. They can be held liable for any mistakes made in this process. The duties and responsibilities of an executor can be split into four main areas. The first of these is investigation. The executor is responsible for investigating what assets were held by…
11 February 2019 News
The Succession (Scotland) Act 2016 has already made certain changes to the Laws of Succession in Scotland, and the Scottish Government has issued its response to further proposals for law reform, which might form the basis of further legislation.  One significant proposal is a change to intestacy rules i.e. what happens where a person dies without a valid Will.  The current law is criticised because of its complexity, and because the distribution of the estate can vary dramatically depending on the types of assets in the estate.  The Scottish Law Commission has proposed a new method of distributing an intestate estate amongst beneficiaries.  The proposal that…
08 February 2019 News
This is definitely a town worth visiting. Haddington is the County Town of East Lothian, situated on the River Tyne and is on the main route from the south to Edinburgh. There are many impressive, historical buildings in this conservation town including St Mary’s Church completed in the 1400’s and the Town House with its dominant spire built in 1742.  This vibrant town enjoys excellent local shopping in its bustling and impressive town centre, a variety of cafes and restaurants, a choice of clubs and evening classes and all levels of education are catered for.  Recreational activities include an 18-hole golf course with many more…
04 February 2019 News
DIY (do it yourself) is a great hobby to be encouraged, however some jobs should be left to the professionals. It is possible to write your own will using an online kit but before rushing off to buy one, please consider the risks. lawyerstrain for many years learning the ins and outs of Scottish Law and how to interpret it and use this knowledge in carefully drafting wills depending on each clients’ circumstances.  One type of will rarely fits all! For a will to be valid in Scotland it must be signed, dated and witnessed to comply with the Requirements of Writing Act.  A DIY will…

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North Berwick - 01620 892138
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